During the 16th century Lepakshi was great centre of trade as well as pilgrimage with fine architecture blended with bold, greaceful sculptures and exquisite paintings. Legend dates the Lepakshi town back to the days of the Ramayana. It is said that Lord Rama found the mythical bird Jatayu lying wounded here, its wings were cut off by Ravana when he abducted Sita. According to locals, after Ravana had cut the wing of the bird, Lord Rama said “le pakshi”(rise bird) and the bird rose. Hence, this sacred place was named as Lepakshi. Local lore has it that sage Agasthya installed the idol of Papanaseswara at the site. However, the temple as it exists today is of more recent origin. The temple at Lepakshi is not a merely a Siva temple but has a temple complex. The peculiarity of this temple complex is th at it has idols of both Siva and Vishnu. The panchayatana advocated by Adi Shankara is probably implemented here in a slightly different from.